By Gary Budzak
State Issue 1 got another backer when Delaware City Council approved a resolution supporting its passage.
The resolution stated that local communities need road, bridge, sewer, water and other infrastructure projects, and Ohio has in place the Ohio State Capital Improvements Program (SCIP), which “has successfully provided support for more than 11,500 such projects and resulting job creation since its inception in 1987.”
Council unanimously approved the resolution without comment at its meeting April 28.
If voters approve Issue 1 in the May 6 election, the program would be renewed by issuing $1.875 billion in capital improvement bonds. Over the next decade, $175 million a year would be issued for the first five years; and then $200 million a year for the next five years. Supporters say no new taxes are required to fund repayment of the bonds. The funds are built into future state budgets.
According to Strong Ohio Communities, which backs Issue 1, “in its nearly 30 years, this program has resulted in tens of thousands of jobs all over the state. If passed, Issue 1 will provide 35,000 more construction and related jobs over the next decade.”
Voters first passed the Ohio SCIP in 1987, and renewed it in 1995 and 2005. Issue 1 has bipartisan support, with a 31-0 (Senate) and 90-2 (House) votes to put it on the ballot.
Supporters say Issue 1 provides grants to cover up to 90 percent of repair or replacement projects, up to 50 percent for new or expansion projects. The projects are allocated to communities in all 88 counties.
The State of Ohio’s Public Works Commission states that the SCIP has assisted with the following completed projects in the City of Delaware: Belle Ave. reconstruction; Bernard/Eaton/N. Washington water main replacement; Catherine St. bridge, Closed Loop Signal System; Curtis St. and London Rd. storm sewers; Executive Blvd./Pennsylvania Ave./Stratford Rd.; Fire Line Replacement; Fountain Ave. and N. Liberty St. storm sewer; London Rd. storm sewer improvements; Sandusky St. and Belle Ave. intersection; water distribution system fire hydrant improvements; West Side water line replacement. The assistance, in the form of grants, totaled $3,359,353.
“In a state with 11.5 million people, these resources are essential to the health and safety of our communities and a requirement for Ohio’s overall economic prosperity,” Commission Director Michael Miller is quoted as saying by Strong Ohio Communities. “They’re not cheap to build and keep in good repair. Ohioans understand that, which is why, since 1987, they have unfailingly gone to the ballot to approve special funding for local infrastructure.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-363-1161 ext. 340 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.